This week I had the pleasure of attending an event organised by this year’s graduates of the BA (Hons) Fashion Contour course at London College of Fashion, UAL. The glamorous gathering was held at Hoxton Arches, with supportive friends and family rubbing shoulders with press and industry guests as we all took a good look at what the class of 2016 have achieved, under the banner of Collective 205.
These talented women have all spent three years – or often four, as many of them do a placement year – studying how to skilfully design and make lingerie, nightwear and swimwear, so you can imagine that the results were pretty impressive. Although I didn’t manage to speak to as many of the designers as I did at last year’s event, their final collections certainly did not disappoint.
Some of the designers had chosen to work with some really interesting fabrics. Katie Bickford-Sawkings has used denim, laser cut in delicate designs, frayed and appliquéd onto sheer backings (see below). Rupali Pal‘s beautiful structured lingerie featured luxurious pleated silks and other textural and sustainably sourced fabrics. Grace Jenkinson used ruffled and cut-out latex alongside more traditional satin lingerie fabrics embellished with beading to create her Peaches & Cream collection (also pictured below).
There were lots more creative uses of embellishment throughout the collections, including cactus appliqué on a suspender belt by Rosemary Rushton-Beales, layers of delicate mesh containing swirls of trapped thread in Jade Gellard‘s bras and pretty embroidered feathers on Danielle Meikle’s Fancy Pants. Use of colour was strong in Giulia Pandolfino‘s bold and extremely wearable ISLNDSWIM swimwear, featuring bright fishnet overlays and subtly effective strap detailing (pictured below) and also Hannah Jobbins-Hone‘s collection of turquoise satin overlaid with gold-leaf covered lace that was inspired by the beauty of Bali.
The catwalk presentation allowed us to see how the garments fit and moved and the fixed displays gave the designers a chance to show off their garments, photographs and concept development. I loved the concept behind Louise Strudwick‘s trans-inclusive Victory Intimates collection and also Rochelle Bartley’s stylish monochrome urban sportswear brand ELLE YELTRAB. There were many more gorgeous collections that I didn’t get a chance to look at, so I’d recommend checking out the Collective 205 Instagram feed.